Sooooo, what goes through your mind when you hear about AI? Any of you confused? Scared? Excited over this seemingly sudden appearance of AI? Or can you see the possibilities of a tool that can help humanity in ways we never imagined?
These tools that are suddenly everywhere and I'm hearing a lot of people talking about it will render humanity obsolete, how it will take over jobs and even about how it will turn into Skynet (I actually had to look that up to see what that was).
I am reminded of the early 90’s when the internet became widely available for the masses. How some people were excited by it and others were terrified it would take over humanity in terrible ways. I remember in one day 1994 in a career development class at Cornish College of the Arts, we were brainstorming on ideas about how to get word out about our music or performances in the rapidly changing world of the music business. In among the ideas of public service announcements, word of mouth, radio announcements, posters, flyers, pamphlets and ads, someone asked “what about the internet?”
Our instructor, paused for a second and then said, “I wouldn’t rely on the internet. Sure, it’s a big thing now but it’s not going to be around in a few years”
My jaw hit the floor. Not around in a few years? We were talking about the biggest leap in communications technology since the telephone and even though I was as sleepy head 31 year old, I knew the internet was here to stay. And now here we are, 30 years later, the internet has woven itself firmly into the fabric of our lives. Like it or not, AI will do the same.
I just watched a great video by Jesse Josefsson about AI and how it will change the face of making and distributing music. In the video, Jesse breaks down in what ways AI can possibly change the music business and creativity in general as well as some helpful ways to approach AI as a creative or even as a human. Incidentally, it was this video that prompted me to write this blog. You can watch it here.
I feel AI gives us choices of a using a power tool to better our craft and definitely expedite some of the tasks that are more mundane. This is the point I feel that AI can be a powerful tool for assisting with not just music making but also marketing, writing newsletters, making videos, making better sounding music and so much more. In this way AI can be an amazing and helpful tool for those of us who struggle with these things on a day to day basis trying to get it all done. It totally will open the door not just for creatives like myself but also for people who feel they aren’t as creative by providing a tool that you can just hum into and it will turn it into a full fledged song. Yes, this can be a possible threat to professional artists, musicians, writers, photographers and other generative artists but it can also can open the door of of creativity for people who would otherwise write their ability off.
Personally, I’m a bit excited about the possibilities. I’m curious as to where this can lead us for the better. But like with the advent of internet availability, I am taking things step by step and will stay open to the idea that we can always have choices. I can see where it may be most beneficial to make music both the “old fashioned” way AND with AI just depending on the purpose. So it doesn't have to be “either or.” I can see where AI can be co-opted by less than scrupulous people with an agenda but that’s not an AI problem. That’s a people problem, which is a whole other ball of wax that can be discussed in a different article.
The bottom line for me right now is to stay curious about it, play with it a bit and see what comes out of it and what I can learn from it. A couple of weeks ago, I played with an image generator and learned just how specific you need to be to get the result you want. I typed in “colorful planets” and the image that came back didn't quite hit the mark of what I expected. It wasn't until later, that I realized, I needed to be more specific. Had I typed in “three planets of vivid colors with a deep space background” I probably would have gotten a lot closer to what I expected. It was definitely a lesson on how too vague I can be when asking for something In this way, I feel AI and humans will end up training each other through a you-get-what-you-put-into-it learning curve, unlike computers which has a set of non-negotiable rules that humans have to work by if they want a result. With that said, I’m thinking that AI may be a better tool to work with for intuitives. Time will tell.
Perhaps the best way to approach AI is to just be curious, open and aware of how and why we would use it and just take things one step at a time. Learn from it as you teach it what you want because there is a learning curve on both sides. None of us can predict what will happen down the road so it’s vital that we take the time to learn about this technology now and how we can use it for the better instead of just resisting and being afraid of it. We will likely find that AI , like the internet, doesn't have to be the thing that takes over humanity in a harmful way…….unless we want it to.
So, what do you think? I'd love to hear. Tell me in the comments below. Like Jesse said in the video, the more we learn about this and talk about it, the more prepared we will be.
Take care all and stay amazing!